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Magic Leap Raises $794 Million To Accelerate Adoption of Secretive AR Tech (roadtovr.com) 51

An anonymous reader writes: A massive new $794 million Series C investment in secretive AR startup Magic Leap puts the company among the world's most valuable startups, now reportedly valued at $4.5 billion. The company has aggressively teased what they believe to be revolutionary augmented reality display technology, allowing a mixture of the real and virtual dimensions in a way previously not achieved. Although they've played coy to the public, offering little more than bold claims, investors like Alibaba, Google Ventures, and Qualcomm Ventures have bought into the company's vision to the tune of $1.39 billion in total raised by Magic Leap thus far. Also at Network World, which notes that their demo must be amazing.
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Magic Leap Raises $794 Million To Accelerate Adoption of Secretive AR Tech

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  • by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @07:40PM (#51425355)
    might as well be Magic, too.
  • Magic Leap projects a digital light field into the observer's eyes,

    The japanese have been there, done that [wikipedia.org]

  • Nostradamus time (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    There's another financial crisis coming soon, and it's going to make 2008 (and the dot-com bubble burst) look like a small hiccup in comparison. Senseless transfers of billions of fiat dollars around companies like this and various shitty social networks that have never made a single cent in profit are a sign of that.

    • by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @07:56PM (#51425465) Journal

      Well - give them some more money. . I want one or more of these. I don't care if they go broke or the economy collapse. Just imagine the porn - err I mean possibilities.

    • by ArmoredDragon ( 3450605 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @08:01PM (#51425513)

      I don't think it will be that bad, but yeah I think there will likely be a simultaneous collapse of both real estate bubble 2.0 AND tech bubble 2.0. Neither of these bubbles are as big as the ones that preceded them though, so we'll probably see a simple recession.

      And because people like to blame the president for recessions (even though it's never actually been the president that caused it,) whoever wins the next election will be a recession president, and unless there's a significant turnaround in that time, they'll be a one term wonder.

    • by Comen ( 321331 )

      What "shitty social networks" are you referring too?
      It is normal for money to be invested in VR and AR companies, no one knows what company will be at the forefront of the tech when it completely matures, but everyone knows that some company will be leader and that company will be seeing a ton of growth.
      AR has a ton of potential for many different uses, but I think beyond the optics we are still years away at being able to create the software needed to merge our surroundings with software that can really un

  • by Jesse Enjaian ( 4417953 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @07:52PM (#51425443) Homepage
    I think funding numbers can be deceptive about the engineering accomplishments of a tech because I'm sure that money gets returned if the ten people running Magic Leap blow through $1-2m without results. Here's the patent (490 pages...): http://pimg-faiw.uspto.gov/fdd... [uspto.gov] For $4.5b, I'd pirate the heck out of that patent.
    • This think is varporware connected to a highthroughput press-release ink jet.

      Even apple can't keep it's secret sauce secret. Why? because at some point they have to make the thing and tell developers how to work with it. So it leaks out the supply channels. the Magic-vape folks ought to have that problem if this existed. and they also ought to have the problem from investor briefings. but not a peep. So one suspects it's non-existent investor bait similar to the rigged demos of cold fusiion.

      Now judg

      • You want stereo vision but you also need the focal plane to change as the eye changes focus.

        Fortunately, there's a cheap and easy solution to this: age. By the time you're 50, it's extremely unlikely that you'll have enough focal accommodation to matter.

        This means I'd be totally ready for VR, if not for my extreme susceptibility to lag-induced motion sickness.

    • the ten people running Magic Leap

      So, pretty much you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. You can just come right out and say it, if it will make you feel better.

      • by zlives ( 2009072 )

        is there any real info?

        • If you're paying attention to the industry and the hires, you know that there are a LOT more than "ten people running Magic Leap." That notion doesn't even pass the smell test.
          • is there any real info?

            If you're paying attention to the industry and the hires, you know that there are a LOT more than "ten people running Magic Leap." That notion doesn't even pass the smell test.

            So your answer is no, you don't know anything different.

            Your condescending response that is the equivalent of "educate yourself" is less than worthless, seeing as that is exactly what he/she was trying to do by asking you this question.

            • No, I'm replying to someone's ASSERTION that there are "ten people" running a company with $4B in market cap. Anyone who needs education before understanding that that's preposterous on the face of it cannot be helped by Googling things for them.
  • Demo... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Arkh89 ( 2870391 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @07:58PM (#51425489)

    They have released this demo : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kw0-JRa9n94 [youtube.com] which looks pretty decent. You can find some artifacts (mainly the occlusion of the little robot which could be better). The depth of field looks pretty cool in the second part and the resolution seems decent (at least for the 1080p camera and for the few frame it is actually in focus, might not be perfect for the eye though).
    I have no idea on the volume/weight of the device though.

  • Billions in vr. Where is feedback loop? Touch, smell, pressure. Without that just a bunch of folk staring out of spacecraft and waving arms in nothing.

  • Absolutely nothing amazes me.

    Unless their VR defies physics, it's just another piece of tech that no one has made, but surely someone has imagined at some point.

    • Rainbows End, by Vernon Vinge

      Doubt it is the first but it's certainly well fleshed-out with what this tech would be capable of when it works.

      Hint: You think furries and bronies are annoying now...

  • Combine a mass spectrometer and a projector that can bounce an image off objects in the room that puts the focal point of the light in front of or possibly behind the object, (my math isn't all that good, but I think I know enough that indicates part of what I'm saying is possible) and you may have something better than what we have now, without glasses and more than one person at a time can see it.
    • Combine a mass spectrometer and a projector that can bounce an image off objects in the room that puts the focal point of the light in front of or possibly behind the object

      What's the mass spectrometer for?

      I don't see how you can change where the focal point of the light is if you're just bouncing it off whatever happens to be in the room. You're just lightning an object.

      • The mass spectrometer is to determine precisely what all the things in the room will do when various things like electrons and light at various frequencies are lobbed at them. I don't know if more than one projector will be necessary to get light to bend in such a way that an arbitrary image will come into focus onto the retina. There are plenty of "Mirascopes" or "3D Mirror Scope Illusion Creators" that use this effect.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

        Read a few of the links on the Wikipedia entry and
  • by kinko ( 82040 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @10:02PM (#51426139)

    the summary and/or editor's blurb should have made it clear that in this context AR = Augmented Reality.

  • these crazy market caps are a symptom of income inequality. There's only so much for the 1% to spend their money on, so we're seeing some pretty big boondogles. Not sure yet if this is one or not but it looks like it. Not because the tech isn't real but because I don't think Joe & Jane average care about AR any more than they did about 3D TVs.
    • When its full promise is realized AR will be huge. All we have now is gimmicks but AR can draw a line on the ground to point you to your car; draw a circle around your child in the store; track your fallen contact lens; translate menus; show you the right size to chop your onion; alert you to a drunk driver ahead of you; teach you how to change your oil; display the names of people you're looking at; let you practice karate with virtual opponents; plan furniture movement and purchases; and on and on and on.
      • Since we're talking science fiction, how about the very real threat that it will be used to create virtual prison hellscapes for opponents of the government? That it will be possible to torture people without leaving physical evidence? That the media will create entirely convincing lies about reality and the news?

        The future is not all flowers and rainbows.
        • The things I spoke of are visual effects. The things you spoke of require physical intervention and/or are unrelated to this type of technology. We already have AR menu translation and a prototype for the name thing by the way. Wake up and smell the future.
    • I think AR will have a lot of uses, but in a marginal sort of way. Consider the rise of 3D CAD/CAM. We now have very complex organically shaped cars of exceptional build quality and safety, but fundamentally they don't make it any faster/easier to get around a city compared with their 1980s boxy counterparts. I can see AR being very useful for some professions, but it is not going to suddenly make people 50% more productive.

      The real quality of life improvements for the 99% would come from investing in the l

  • At $4.5 billion and what seems to be a continuing insanity of investing in this company the only way this bubble does not burst and those companies that have foolishly invested to this point don't feel a bit of a sting is if this company has invented the holodeck.
  • by WaffleMonster ( 969671 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @12:29AM (#51427407)

    They just have to create a tech demo that emulates "The Game" from STNG.

  • by Cyberax ( 705495 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @03:46AM (#51428267)
    How are they going to do phase manipulation? It's needed to achieve a true depth field - essentially you need to create a hologram to fool eyes. Google Glass doesn't need it since it shows everything in one plane and Microsoft's AR technology simply makes this plane moveable. That's why this movie shot through a camera is extremely misleading - they should have shown what happens when camera drastically changes focus.

    I checked their patent but they simply threw everything possible against a wall, hoping something will stick - like doing multiple layers with lenses between them, directly stimulating retina cells, using phased MEMS and so on. No clue how it can really work.
  • If it's a device beaming coherent light i.e. from a laser diode, I hope they make it EXTREMELY secure. How much fun would it be to be wearing these and suddenly have it hacked by someone perhaps overriding safety limits and blinding you, or creating a permanent spot in the corner of your vision advertising penis pills, similar to burn in on a CRT or AMOLED?

An algorithm must be seen to be believed. -- D.E. Knuth

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